Re: [asa] vast new gas supplies

From: Don Winterstein <>
Date: Mon Dec 14 2009 - 02:29:24 EST


(Comments supplementing those of Gordon Brown:)

The "less available water" in India and China from global warming is not necessarily that the precipitation levels fall (they could fall or rise or neither) but that less water gets stored in mountain glaciers for use through dry seasons. That is, much of the water for agriculture now comes from melting glacial ice. If the glaciers disappear, the water will all come when it falls from the sky, and little will be available at other times.

This kind of potential problem is not confined to Asia. I've seen maps of US rainfall predicted for various degrees of global warming that show Colorado will suffer summer water shortages if and when there ceases to be a significant snowpack. The person presenting the maps said the solution would be simply to dam the rivers and store water behind the dams for later release.


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Bill Powers<>
  To: John Walley<>
  Cc: Don Winterstein<> ; asa<> ; Murray Hogg<>
  Sent: Friday, December 11, 2009 5:50 AM
  Subject: Re: [asa] vast new gas supplies


  Whether or not AGW is true, to what extent it is true, or whether we can
  "significantly" affect the future global warming, there does appear to
  be global climate change in the offing.

  I was particularly interested in an article I read about the melting of
  the Himilayan glaciers (the "third pole"). Unbeknownst to me, the
  Himilayans are the source of the bulk of all water to India, South East
  Asia, and China, where a large percentage of the world inhabits.

  Now, I can't claim to understand why global warming, resulting in an
  increase of liquid water, would result in less available water, but
  apparently this is what many believe will happen, and there is evidence
  that it is already happening. Presuming a conservation of water, it is
  either in ice, liquid, or vapor. If less is contained in ice, more must
  be contained in the other two phases. So I can't clearly understand
  this, save that water distribution will change.

  Warming of the globe is, itself not a problem. It's the changes and
  shifts in vital materials, e.g., water, that matters. My point is to
  the energy crisis (in particular the distribution of fossil fuels), we
  might add a coming water crisis. Both will, perhaps in our life time,
  (though I doubt it) destablize the world economies. In the past, this
  has led to wars. If the world population could redistribute itself
  peaceably, this might not be a problem, although, as always, there's a
  time scale problem.

  It seems to me that water shortage is even more destabilizing than
  energy fuels. Energy fuels can be transported, albeit at some
  significant cost, water cannot. The only way to solve the water
  distribution problem is to move people, depopulating one region and
  increasing the population of another. In the past (witness the
  populating of America, or the Israelites into the Promised Land), this
  has resulted in armed conflicts.

  What this entails is that immigration may become a signifcant moral
  and international issue.


  On Fri, 11 Dec 2009, John Walley wrote:


  I think this is exactly right. The real smoking gun in all of this, as I have said before, is that no one admits the globe has been much warmer before and we all survived. Whether humans are contributing to it or not is a minor detail. It is part of a natural cycle that we would have to face anyway.

  Ignoring this and charging ahead with this AGW guilt induced, self-flagellation ritual is enabling the criminalization and possible anthropocide of humanity. I think that is exactly at odds with why Jesus died for them.



  From: Don Winterstein <<>>
  To: asa <<>>; Murray Hogg <<>>
  Sent: Fri, December 11, 2009 1:01:08 AM
  Subject: Re: [asa] vast new gas supplies

  I suspect not too many people with a scientific background doubt that AGW is scientifically sound or that global temperatures have increased a small amount over the past century. What I am skeptical about is (1) the percentage of that increase due to human activities, (2) the ability to model the effects accurately--that is, predict the future, and (3) the ability to do anything significant about future changes even if they're all man-made. Physically it may be possible to stop AGW, but IMO it won't be possible politically, especially if James Hansen (see Dec. 14 issue of Newsweek) is right.

  141 scientists with backgrounds in climate science have just expressed similar skepticism in an open letter to Ban Ki Moon at<>. Opening sentences: Climate change science is in a period of 'negative discovery' - the more we learn about this exceptionally complex and rapidly evolving field the more we realize how little we know. Truly, the science is NOT settled.


  ----- Original Message -----
>From: Murray Hogg
>To: ASA
>Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 8:45 PM
>Subject: Re: [asa] vast new gas supplies
>Hi John,
>Just so you won't die wondering...
>Personally I've moved even further TOWARD the view that AGW is a scientifically sound position - mainly because I don't see any substantial arguments have been advanced against the consensus position.
>The only reason for my silence is that I have nothing to contribute to what is a very enlightening discussion at several levels.
>I personally don't know what to make of Glenn's data (North American cooling) -- particularly given that in my local context every factor points the other way.
>That said, the observations regarding weather data from Darwin is intriguing. If I can find the time I'll have to run it past a couple of people I know in the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO -- being up with this sort of thing their opinion would be helpful, I think.
>Otherwise, I'll just keep lurking.
>> " So I am very skeptical of everything. I am suspsicious of the real
>> agenda behind the AGW movement. "
>> Interestingly enough, it appears the tone on this list has shifted
>> somewhat since the initial cocksure AGW cheerleading. I was open and
>> willing to be convinced but the more I hear it seems my skepticism is
>> increasingly warranted.
>> Randy I want to thank you for your challenge to "engage with the data".
>> I think that is honest science and that approach has really helped us
>> pinpoint and focus in on the core issues of the debate on this list.
>> BTW, we are still waiting for a response from you or Rich after you have
>> engaged with the data that Glenn and Don have referenced. I am sure one
>> will be forthcoming, right?
>> Thanks
>> John
>> *From:* David Clounch <<>>
>> *To:* Iain Strachan <<>>
>> *Cc:* Don Winterstein <<>>; asa <<>>
>> *Sent:* Thu, December 10, 2009 1:38:35 PM
>> *Subject:* Re: [asa] vast new gas supplies
>> On Tue, Dec 8, 2009 at 6:37 AM, Iain Strachan <<>
>> <<>>> wrote:
>> On Mon, Dec 7, 2009 at 11:36 AM, David Clounch
>> <<> <<>>> wrote:
>> I think of it in terms of what is available. When will it be
>> depleted and when will that sub-industry collapse, leaving
>> humanity without energy? Of course there will be economic
>> collapse long before actual depletion. Unless there are vast
>> new sources of uranium we don't yet know about I don't see a
>> long term answer to energy supply.
>> On the contrary, nuclear is an extremely long term answer to energy
>> supply. Existing fission reactors use only U-235, which is 0.7% of
>> natural uranium. As such it is a limited resource. But fast
>> breeder reactors can be used to convert the U-238 (99.3%) of natural
>> uranium to the fissionable product Pu-239.
>> Are there any governments proposing the usage of breeder reactors? My
>> assumption is these styles of reactor are frowned upon because plutonium
>> presents a huge waste storage problem. The other thing I don't know
>> about is whether breeder technology is as safe in its operation as more
>> conventional models. I think the anti-nuclear lobby will have a cow
>> over breeders. Given these are the same folks that embrace AGW I
>> expect a huge political warfare to take place before any widespread
>> deployment of plutonium generators. Because of this I just ignore the
>> presence/possibility of breeders as a solution.
>> Seems to me a peak energy crisis is the real crisis, not a warming crisis.
>> Look, we have been really good at putting particle pollutants in the air
>> to increase the albedo of the planet to get a cooling effect. And we
>> could do that deliberately. If the people who are so concerned over GW
>> are serious they would be fighting the anti-pollution measures that are
>> lowering the albedo. They would also be proposing nuclear if they were
>> serious. Do they in fact do either? I suspect not. So I am very
>> skeptical of everything. I am suspsicious of the real agenda behind
>> the AGW movement.
>> According to Wikipedia there is enough U-238 around to be an energy
>> supply for five billion years, but I think this must be a mistake -
>> I would have put it at several thousand years.
>> In addition it is possible to use U-233 that is bred from Thorium -
>> an element that is 3.5 times as common as uranium, as an
>> intermediate term solution.
>> For the long term solution, one must look to Nuclear Fusion.
>> Current reactors are based on a D-T reaction which requires the
>> breeding of Tritium from Lithium - an abundant element, which
>> according to Wikipedia would last 3000 years if all the worlds
>> energy came from this source. If it became feasible in the future
>> to have sustainable power from a D-D fusion reaction then (again
>> according to Wikipedia) there would be sufficient for 150 billion years.
>> I wouldn't trust any of these figures, to be honest. For a better
>> estimate, consult David MacKay's book "Sustainable Energy without
>> the Hot Air", which is available on the web. However, Fusion is an
>> extremely long term solution, and it appears that, given Thorium and
>> Fast breeder reactors, that nuclear fission is almost certainly a
>> sufficiently long medium-term solution to allow the fusion solution
>> to be developed.
>> Iain
>> --
>> -----------
>> Non timeo sed caveo
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Received on Mon Dec 14 02:29:57 2009

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